Positive body image and empowerment encouraged by Program Board speaker, interactive activities


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Pia Schiavo-Campo speaks about the importance of body positivity on Jan. 30 in the Bovee University Center.

After being body shamed and trying “every diet in the book” while growing up, Pia Schiavo-Campo is using her experiences to teach young women about self-acceptance and empowerment.

The feminist blogger flew in from Los Angeles to discuss body image and beauty misconceptions last night in the Bovee University Center Rotunda.

More than 25 students attended and engaged in the event’s interactive activities, led by Schiavo-Campo to help get her message of empowerment across. The event was put on by Program Board.

“(I appreciated) the interactive activities tonight,” said Breanna Pearson, Program Board concert director. “It’s something that not a lot of speakers do and it added a good element to the event.”

Schiavo-Campo began her speech by explaining that she had been confident in herself and her body until hitting puberty — a challenge many people face growing up.

Ariana Strzalka | Staff Photographer | Central Michigan Life

Pia Schiavo-Campo, in pink, leads the group in a self-awareness exercise during her presentation about body positivity on Jan. 30 in the Bovee University Center.

After trying a variety of fad diets, suffering from eating disorders and eventually getting Liposuction surgery, Schiavo-Campo decided to tackle her insecurities a different way. She created her own community of people also struggling with body image by creating her blog, “Chronicles of a Mixed Fat Chick,” and has been blogging for about six years now.

“I hope that people can realize that they have power,” Schiavo-Campo said. “They have the power to change things. Body positivity is a movement and it’s so much more than diets. This brings women together. It helps show each other our strengths and that we need to support one another.”

Schiavo-Campo said she was excited to have a smaller crowd because it allowed her to lead some interactive improvisation activities meant to help participants be more present and comfortable in their own skin. Through a variety of different games, audience members were encouraged to be themselves and gain confidence.

“The most gratifying part of all of this is when people come and tell me that something I wrote or something I did impacted them,” Schiavo-Campo said. “(It's also gratifying when) they say they have had a shift and that they are really learning to love themselves now.”

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